Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Not rocket science.

So apparently my car has been recalled because of a deadly floor mat. I know that stuck accelerators are bad news, and crashes are nothing to laugh about, but:

Deadly. Floor mat.

Cure: Remove floor mat.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Commander Lott?

Fascinating anecdote from a filmmaker documenting an Ole Miss fraternity:
The day James Meredith integrated the campus (October 1st, 1962) there was massive rioting and violence in which two people were killed. The violence that took place that day is sometimes referred to as "the last battle of the Civil War." The next day, October 2nd, the FBI, acting on a tip, raided the Sigma Nu house and uncovered a stockpile of weapons (mainly rifles). The "Commander" or president of the house (Sigma Nu uses military [naval?] titles for house officers) at the time was Trent Lott.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Stuff to keep in mind.

Roman Polanski had a rough life, what with the Nazis and the Manson family and all. Roman Polanski has made great art. And Roman Polanski is a child rapist.
[A]ccording to the victim's grand jury testimony, Roman Polanski instructed her to get into a jacuzzi naked, refused to take her home when she begged to go, began kissing her even though she said no and asked him to stop; performed cunnilingus on her as she said no and asked him to stop; put his penis in her vagina as she said no and asked him to stop; asked if he could penetrate her anally, to which she replied, "No," then went ahead and did it anyway, until he had an orgasm.
This is after he got her drunk and gave her part of a Quaalude. A grown woman, in that state, cannot legally consent. A child, sober or not, cannot legally consent to sex. And even if the girl had been able to consent, she didn't. She said no. Repeatedly. Polanski is not a rapist because he succumbed to the seductions of an underage model and incurred a technical foul. He is a rapist because he raped someone.

So unless you think that 42 days in jail is an appropriate punishment for drugging and raping a middle-schooler and that those rich enough to evade punishment should get a free pass, don't be all "Free Roman!"

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Mourn, damn you, mourn!

Blogger gets pregnant. Blogger plans abortion. Blogger miscarries instead. Blogger tweets, roughly, "whew!" Blogger gets piled on by commenters for not having the appropriate grief reaction.

This reminds me of nothing so much as Melissa Lafsky's reaction when Kerry Howley said, no, she wasn't traumatized by donating her eggs. How dare women not act the way their social role requires! How dare they be honest about their feelings! Don't they know that every egg is sacred, whether you want a baby or not? (Do these folks think that every time a woman's period is late, she should rend her hair when it finally comes---just in case?)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Wrap that rascal!

Although I've carried my Kindle 2 in my purse for months uncovered and have dropped it several times (or had it dropped---Lily plays the gravity game) with no adverse consequences, Matt Yglesias's little mishap has inspired me to seek protection. The flip-top design is handier but the other version is much prettier, and probably better made.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Random Roundup

- Indian girl starts one-woman revolution against forced tween marriage.

- It's easier to suspend disbelief in romances if the actors aren't megahotties. This is especially true when the troubled couple is of the classic Hollywood old/fat/ugly-dude-and-youthful-beauty mode. It's like, the solution to your problems is to walk out the door and pick up one of the many guys who would be panting for your bod, lady.

- Via Helen, totally awesome shoes. Are these what Princess Toadstool would wear?

- As zubon put it, "Someone read Laurell K. Hamilton and thought, 'I could so top that.'"

- Just finished this book, the sequel to Firethorn. Good writing, solid and creative fantasy worldbuilding, believable characters, but man, is the protagonist a cross between Ayla and the perpetual victim lead from this book. Rape, disability, torture, maiming, whoring, drug addiction ... what isn't inflicted on this girl? But perhaps that's inevitable when you're writing a fairly realistic account of a camp follower to a conquering army.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sunday, September 20, 2009

May your two-letter-word victory taste of ashes.

This is how I learned to hate Scrabble.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Halloween costume for me?

So I asked this once on Facebook already and people told me "Bella from Twilight," which, NO, on top of which it's not even a costume, as I am already a pale brunette with a dejected air and scrubby clothes, and the only way to signal that I wasn't going as myself would be via spoilers from the latter novels, i.e. Alien-style abdominal ruptures. And please no Dorothy Gale (did that a few times already) and no Margot Tenenbaum (nobody got it last year).

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Female Gaze

A while back I saw some article about the women's body types people thought were most attractive. IIRC, women picked the second-skinniest body, while men picked the skinniest. Of course there are contradictory data (maybe nsfw). But I don't care what men want! What do ladies want?

These are a bunch of photos of the same man at various stages of fitness. Which of these versions is the most appealing? (Note: decided lack of chest hair in these photos.)

I have, in conversation with Mike, compared bodybuilders with runway models: Both have body types whose characteristics are established by a group other than the opposite-sex target audience and are not actually attractive to the majority of women and men, respectively.* So which John do women (not other men!) think is the hottest?

* Did middle school boys typically cadge their mom's copy of W? Doubtful It's the Maxim pinups they want. Or wanted, before the internet.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Every small woman's worst nightmare

Having your body found in a wall on what would have been your wedding day.

I normally don't get emotionally caught up in news stories, but this one fills me with a deep sense of horror. And even though you just know that whoever murdered her will turn out to be some spurned suitor or creepy stalker, it really brings home the fact that when you're a little woman pretty much everyone could kill you if they wanted to.


Do I want Lasik?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Note to self

Eating six lobster rolls in a row is not good nutrition.

Friday, September 11, 2009

There are white terrorists, you know.

Hey Could you manage to object to this totally ridiculous overreaction by the TSA without having a racist aside about how the kid doesn't "look" like a terrorist? thx. (via)

Runaway Slave

This is the best blog that I have read in a long time.* The series of posts about rape, from the rape joke post this summer to the present, are particularly thought-provoking. I've been meaning to link them for months now, but there's just too much good stuff to excerpt. So don't go all tl;dr on me. Actually read them and tell us what you think.

* I'd say it is the most psychologically insightful blog out there, but that is still reserved for the various incarnations of Is there no sin in it?

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Abort, retry, ignore?

Can we start this week over? I need a redo.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

When tithing just won't cut it?

Why does the Catholic Church charge for annulments? If it is to recoup the cost of various courses and sessions ... does it also charge for the counseling and sessions couples do prior to marriage? For the education required to undergo confirmation? I'm not Catholic so I don't really know, but my impression is that they don't. When folks talk about getting married, they complain about the prices of flowers and podiums and centerpieces, but I've never heard anyone grouse about the cost of Pre-Cana.

Are there other things that churches charge for? Does your minister charge for acting as a wedding officiant? Scientology charges for everything beyond those lame "personality tests" but I thought that most religious services are free.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Give it up, GQ!

Given that the 1999 terrorist attacks in Russia were a big part of my decision not to live there and continue Russian-language studies, I'd really like to read this article.

UPDATE: Here it is! "Vladimir Putin's Dark Rise to Power," in English and Russian.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Legal Default for Adoption Gag Orders?

Maybe I'm a bit of a thickie, but I don't understand how this can be the case:
Jordan selected a couple, and when she went into labor, they attended the birth, along with her counselor and shepherding mother. The next day, the counselor said that fully open adoptions weren't legal in South Carolina, so Jordan wouldn't receive identifying information on the adoptive parents.
Surely South Carolina does not forbid adoptive parents from communicating with birth mothers or bar them from specific speech. Doesn't this really mean that South Carolina law does not mandate open adoptions and so adoptive parents have the ability to keep certain information from a birth mother? (I.e., the parents here are choosing to be jerks?)

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Party to go down in no flames

Dear oven,

How am I supposed to bake a celebratory cherry pie this weekend if you don't work?

No love,


Tuesday, September 01, 2009

We need to talk about Kenny.

What to do with people who don't want to be helped? It might be much cheaper to just lock up fellows like this on their many, many warrants, but there's no room for them.